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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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incorrigible malefactors and brawlers of that Home Army, and also all the
followers of the London Government. No doubt those who so heroically
defended Warsaw, and the followers of the London Government—and they
number hundreds of thousands, including more than 90 per cent, of the
Polish Armed Forces—will be called malefactors and brawlers, and treated
accordingly. Unfortunately, there is all too good reason to believe that many
of these unfortunate people have already suffered greatly and gravely,
and that some, indeed, have lost their lives.
The whole question resolves itself into whether it is the obvious intention
to impose upon Poland a polic}? that can be checked by this new pre-
fabricated Government. If it was possible for me to believe that this
artificially appointed Government would over-rule the intense desire of the
secret police to communise Poland, and the intense desire of the Lublin
Government to communise Poland, I would not feel so strongly as I do
to-day. But one must be sceptical.
. . . We have no need to prolong indefinitely the arguments that could
be brought forward in favour of this Amendment. One of the reasons that
influences me is this : I believe that we are the trustees of Poland, of this
weak country which has done so much to help us in this war. We are her
trustees^ and we dare not let her down. We are about to let her down,
and that is an act of which I shall always be ashamed and in which I will
not participate to-day. We are asked to underwrite something which
I for one look upon as shameful.
Captain Thorneycroft (Conservative) : I believe that the decisions
which were arrived at at the Crimea Conference and, in particular, the
decision relating to Poland, were wise decisions which were taken in circum-
stances of very considerable difficulty. As my hon. Friend the Member for
Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) has said . . . although the Amendment
refers to Poland this is not a Polish issue. The fact is that at the Crimea
Conference three men, each of them the head of a great State . . . was
laying down the future path we were likely to follow in our foreign affairs,
and on the choice of that road hangs the issue as to whether, in another 20
years, we shall have another war or peace. . . .
Let me say at once to those Members who support this Amendment. . . .
Their desire is that these issues of foreign policy should be faced, and faced
now. In that they represent a very widespread feeling in this country,
and I share their view. If we are to enter into another period in which the
facts of a certain situation in foreign affairs are to be tortured to fit into
some international document to which we have affixed our signature we
shall enter upon a course which must eventually lead us to another war
a war in which we shall have very few friends, and a process which will be
detrimental to British honour.
As I have said, I differ from my hon. Friends in their conclusions. I do
not believe that this Crimea Conference is the first milestone in the down-
ward path. I do not believe that this Polish settlement is a betrayal of Poland
or of British honour. Polish and British interests are to a large extent the
same. We each have an interest to see that no one Power should dominate
the whole of Europe. But the first British interest that we have is to finish
this war at the earliest possible date. . . .
There is one other aspect of the war side I want to refer to, and this is a
matter which could not be mentioned from the Front Bench but which
can be mentioned from the back benches. It is that the German war is not
the only war in which we are engaged. We are faced with a long, arduous
and probably costly campaign against the Japanese. We cannot compel
the Russians to share the burden of that campaign, but if co-operation